Apple Watches can also work as a fitness tracker.
And a sauna bath is a health-related activity.
So it makes sense to wear your watch while in a session, right?
Well, not quite. And let me tell you why.
Continue reading to find out:
- Whether it’s fine to take an Apple watch into a steam room.
- How the heat in a sauna can impact your Apple Watch’s performance.
- 7 alarming reasons why you should avoid wearing your Apple watch in a sauna.
- And a lot more…
Can you take an Apple watch into a sauna?
You can’t take an Apple watch into a sauna. Apple’s website said that you should avoid wearing it in a room that’s above 130° F (55° C). And the average temperature in a sauna exceeds that. So your watch may overheat. Moreover, the extreme heat in a sauna can also cause battery damage.
Apple watch in sauna: 7 dangers
On Apple’s official website…
It says that Apple Watches work best when the temperature is between 32° F and 95° F (0° C and 35° C). But you can also store them in rooms that don’t exceed 113° F (45° C).
The only exception to this is the Apple Ultra Watch. This high-end variant has a higher tolerance for extreme conditions, unlike other models.
It’ll work fine in a setting where the temperature is between -4° F and 130° F (-20° C and 55° C).
But how hot does it actually get inside a sauna?
Well, it varies per establishment.
But on average, the temperature ranges from 150° F (66° C) to around 190° F (88° C). This is according to Healthline.
So as you can see…
The temperature there is far greater than what Apple recommends for its watches.
This is why it’s not advisable to wear it in a sauna session.
Apple Watches just aren’t designed to withstand extreme heat.
And inside a sauna…
These watches will most likely overheat. That’s even when you consider that sauna baths only last around 15 to 20 minutes.
And as a consequence of overheating…
Some internal parts may become defective.
Now, I know most Apple devices have features to protect themselves from this scenario.
However, you can’t always bank on them to work all the time.
Plus, Apple itself gave specific temperature recommendations. And that should be enough warning not to wear your watch inside a sauna.
#2: Shortened battery life
Like many gadgets these days…
Apple Watches also use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
These are the preferred power sources by many firms for several reasons, including:
- The ability to charge really fast.
- Greater power capacity than other battery types.
With an Apple Watch specifically…
Its batteries are built to maintain up to 80% of their capacity after 1000 complete charge cycles.
In other words, even if you charge once a day…
It’ll take about 3 years before the batteries start degrading.
However, if you’re going to regularly wear your smartwatch in your sauna sessions…
Apple warns that this may shorten the device’s battery life. The extreme heat will cause the batteries to break down much faster.
In fact, this is also backed by science.
According to a study from a Nigeria-based university…
The optimal operating temperature of Li-ion batteries is around 59° F to 95° F (15° C to 35° C).
Anything beyond those can cause damage.
And let me tell you, battery replacements for Apple devices don’t come cheap.
Regardless of the model, the average cost for Apple Watch batteries is around $79. And you can only get it for free if you bought AppleCare+ along with your device.
#3: Diminished water resistance
Let’s define a couple of terms to begin.
Waterproof and water resistance are entirely different.
The former means that something is totally immune to water damage. It doesn’t matter how long it stays in the water. It’ll still continue to function.
On the other hand, the latter means it can withstand liquid. But only up to a certain extent.
Apple Watches are water resistant. It’s fine with a few drops or splashes of liquid. However, it’ll start malfunctioning the longer you expose it to moisture.
You should also know that the water resistance level of Apple Watches doesn’t stay constant.
With time, their ability to withstand moisture weakens as well.
And wearing an Apple Watch in saunas affects its water resistance level. Basically, the high temperature lowers your device’s ability to withstand moisture.
So even if your Apple Watch can survive multiple trips to saunas…
You’re also diminishing its water resistance level in every single session.
Would you like to know more about this topic?
If so, you may watch this video:
#4: Damage from heat or moisture
This is in connection with the previous point.
Let’s say you’ve already worn your Apple Watch on several sauna baths. And it’s still working fine.
Now, as I mentioned, its water resistance level goes down with every exposure to extreme heat.
So what might happen on your next sauna trip is…
Your Apple Watch may eventually give in. The water and heat from the sauna will finally break your device’s water resistance.
As a result, this will likely lead to serious damage. And you wouldn’t want that considering how expensive smartwatches are.
And if battery replacements already cost a lot…
You’ll have to shell out even more money for a total repair.
Without AppleCare+, you’ll have to spend anywhere from $199 to $499 to fix your watch.
#5: App malfunction
Every time you expose your smartwatch outside of Apple’s recommended temperature…
The likelihood of it glitching also increases.
And among the possible malfunctions, you’ll see is the sudden closure of applications.
Now, I know Apple Watches come with several health and fitness apps. So I understand why some think it makes sense to wear them in sauna baths.
It’s nice to know your real-time heart rate. Or track how many calories you’re burning as you sweat out.
It can also be fun listening to apps like Spotify on your watch as you relax. I totally get that.
It’s just that these apps are likely to stop working under the extreme conditions of sauna rooms.
And that makes it pretty pointless to wear your smartwatch while in a session.
#6: Loss of signal
Some people also prefer to wear their smartwatch in saunas so they can make or take calls.
After all, you never know when someone might contact you for something urgent.
That’s totally understandable. But here’s the thing…
The ultra-high heat in a sauna can also affect your smartwatch’s reception.
You’re likely to get little to no signal. And because of that, you also won’t be able to contact someone or receive calls.
As a matter of fact, not only will your watch lose signal inside a sauna booth…
But there’s also a good chance your device completely shuts down on its own.
This is because when Apple Watches get too hot…
The display would show a temperature icon. And all other apps or functions become inaccessible.
In other words, you really wouldn’t be able to enjoy using your Apple Watch in a sauna.
#7: Screen crack
Like most smartphones and tablets…
Apple Watches also use Gorilla Glass for their screen.
This particular type is known for its scratch resistance. It’s also durable. And it’s fairly hard to break. So your device is well-protected against drops.
However, some users have reported how heat caused cracks on their Apple Watch screen.
And while situations like that don’t always happen…
They’re certainly within the realm of possibilities.
So in a high-temperature environment like a sauna…
A screen crack is another thing that can happen. And that’s 1 more reason to just leave your Apple Watch in a locker.
BONUS: Why are there sauna session trackers on the App Store?
This section is to clear up some confusion.
I already mentioned how Apple itself discourages the use of smartwatches in saunas.
Yet take a quick search in the App Store.
And you’ll find a few sauna session tracking apps. Notable examples of these are:
- Visual Timer.
- Ilume Health.
What’s up with those, right?
If Apple doesn’t want you to wear your smartwatch in a sauna…
Why did the company even include those applications in the App Store?
And the answer is simple.
Those apps aren’t intended to be used while in a sauna session.
Instead, their purpose is for you to be able to keep track of the following:
- Start and end time.
- Whether you took a cold shower after each session.
And contrary to what some of you may think…
No, those apps don’t record your sauna session data in real time. You’ll have to encode each manually after every trip.
So in essence, those applications are just logbooks for your sauna baths.
Can you take an Apple watch into a steam room?
You can take an Apple watch into a steam room. But only if the model you’re using is the Apple Watch Ultra. This is because the average steam room temperature is around 110° F to 120° F (43° C to 49° C). And only the Ultra variant can withstand such heat.
So what exactly differentiates a steam room from a sauna?
Well, it’s largely the temperature.
Steam rooms are much cooler.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You’ll still sweat a lot within a 15 to 20-minute stay inside. But the temperature never rises to the levels of saunas.
And that’s why it’s ok to wear an Apple Ultra Watch in a steam room.
This model will work fine in temperatures up to 130° F (55° C). That’s still within the average heat of steam rooms.
However, all other Apple Watch variants can only handle 95° F (32° C) at most.
So unless what you own is an Ultra, it’s best not to wear it in a steam room.